August 15 Reflection: Challenges For Afghan Women – OpEd


This month August 15 marks two years of Taliban control in Afghanistan. The country itself is still in economic crisis which has caused increased poverty among the Afghan people. But what seems to be of importance at this stage is to re-enable girls and women to go back to school and work.

In this article, I will discuss three main points which are:

  • Taliban Control and Economic Crisis in Afghanistan
  • Reinstating Educational and Employment Opportunities for Girls and Women
  • Negative Impacts of the US Exit and Security Concerns

Two years ago, the Taliban forcefully captured Afghanistan territory at a time when the main government in Kabul had collapsed. It was a total nightmare when it comes to the military exit which can be seen in the videos on social media; like the teenage children falling off from aircraft, women climbing over walls, and a blast by ISIS killing American soldiers.

Just as Americans were so desperate to leave at the last minute, so were progressive Afghans – it is like they had a bond together. But ultimately it was up to the Americans to decide who leaves from Afghanistan as they were mainly in charge of the exit operation. The U.S. government said that they evacuated “over 120,000” Americans and Afghan allies during that time.

Currently, girls and women in Afghanistan do not have educational and employment rights and a lot of restrictions are imposed on their overall basic human rights. This may mean that poverty has increased. The UN stated this year that some 34 million Afghans are now living in poverty as a result of the democratic government collapse.

This all came at a time when we faced the Coronavirus pandemic and as conflicts started in Ukraine and other parts of the world. This means that since the US’s exit from Afghanistan, the issue of peace and security has worsened. In fact, according to the statistics by Vision of Humanity, “Deaths from global conflict increased by 96% to 238,000”.

Meanwhile, the issue of education and employment in Afghanistan for females does not exist. Females make up close to 50 percent of the Afghan population and yet the Taliban have abandoned them from attending school and job opportunities. Moreover, the school year is upon us in September and we need to make changes.

In the end, Afghan people cannot be forgotten. They need support and I envision that the Afghan government will work with international countries including Canada to help and make a change. As we know, Afghanistan is the only country in the world that has banned education for females unlike other Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran which allow girls and women to go to school. What is lacking is funding and an education plan to fit the current culture and religion.

Meladul Haq Ahmadzai

Meladul Haq Ahmadzai is an Afghan-Canadian citizen who lives in Ottawa and CEO of Taleam Systems.

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